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Comparative quality of pasturage on Western Canadian ranges Willis, Thomas Garnet 1947

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COMPARATIVE QUALITY Of PASTURAGE ON WESTERN CANADIAN RANGES  by Thomas G. W i l l i s  Thesis submitted  i nPartial Fulfilment of  the Requirements f o r t h e Degree o f MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURE in the Department o f Agronomy  THE.' UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1947.  - i -  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Acknowledgement  i i  Introduction  1  Review o f L i t e r a t u r e  2  Methods  4  Area Studied  6  V e g e t a t i o n of the Brown S o i l Zone Vegetation of the Dark Brown S o i l Zone  10  Vegetation of t h e B l a c k S o i l Zone  10  Vegetation of the S h a l l o w B l a c k S o i l Zone .  12  7  V e g e t a t i o n o f "the Grey Wooded S o i l Zone ...  12  Experimental Results  21  Discussion  28  Abstract  40  Bibliography  41  ACENOWIEX)GSMENT  The a u t h o r w i s h e s t o e x p r e s s h i s g r a t i t u d e t o Mr. L. B. Thomson, S u p e r i n t e n d e n t o f t h e Dominion E x p e r i m e n t a l S t a t i o n , S w i f t C u r r e n t , Saskatchewan, and t o Mr. 1'. W. T i s d a i e , Head o f t h e D i v i s i o n o f Forage Crops and Rangeland R e s e a r c h 'at t h a t S t a t i o n , f o r t h e i r c o - o p e r a t i o n i n f u r n i s h i n g f a c i l i t i e s f o r t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f samples, and a u t h o r i z i n g t h e u s e o f r e c o r d s and p h o t o g r a p h s . A g r e a t d e a l o f c r e d i t i s due t o Dr. V.C. B r i n k , A s s o c i a t e P r o f e s s o r o f Agronomy a t The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , f o r h i s keen i n t e r e s t , w h i c h p r o v i d e d i n s p i r a t i o n f o r t h i s p r o b l e m and f o r h i s v a l u a b l e guidance t h r o u g h t h e c o u r s e o f t h i s s t u d y .  4  Abstract on p.40  - 1 -  COMPARATIVE QUALITY OF PASTURAGE ON WESTERN CANADIAN RANGES  INTRODUCTION There i s good reason t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e q u a l i t y o f range f o r a g e i s q u i t e as i m p o r t a n t as t h e q u a n t i t y .  While  much a t t e n t i o n h a s been g i v e n t o t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f d r y m a t t e r y i e l d p e r a c r e o f t h e w e s t e r n range f o r a g e s , s t u d i e s o f t h e i r q u a l i t y have not o f t e n l e d t o i n d i c a t i v e conclusions. . Range t y p e s i n Western Canada a r e f a i r l y  easily  charac-  t e r i z e d by d e f i n i t e v e g e t a t i o n a s s o c i a t i o n s . Broad a s s o c i a t i o n s o f v e g e t a t i o n a r e r e c o g n i z e d i n t h e s h o r t g r a s s , mixedg r a s s and t a l l g r a s s p r a i r i e s and i n t h e l o w , m i d - and upper g r a s s l a n d s o f B r i t i s h Columbia.  These a s s o c i a t i o n s r e f l e c t  d i r e c t l y t h e s o i l and c l i m a t e under w h i c h t h e v e g e t a t i o n develops  and c o r r e l a t e w e l l w i t h t h e major s o i l  groupings.  Although  d i f f e r e n c e s i n d r y m a t t e r y i e l d s by zones a r e w e l l  e s t a b l i s h e d , v a r i a t i o n s i n q u a l i t y by zone have n o t been demonstrated.  Many f o r a g e s p e c i e s i n d i v i d u a l l y have been  appraised f o r q u a l i t y , but these.analyses i n d i c a t i o n of the zonal p i c t u r e .  have g i v e n  little  - 2 Q u a l i t y e s t i m a t e s , when r e l a t e d t o d r y m a t t e r  yield,  a r e v a l u a b l e b o t h t o t h e e c o l o g i s t and t h e n u t r i t i o n i s t . The  e c o l o g i s t can a p p r a i s e more p r e c i s e l y t h e v a l u e o f t h e  d i f f e r e n t r a n g e s , and the s p e c i a l i s t i n n u t r i t i o n o b t a i n s a guide f o r r e s e a r c h ' i n a n i m a l p r o d u c t i o n . t h i s work was  Accordingly,  undertaken t o a s s e s s t h e q u a l i t y of range  f o r a g e i n t h e major zones o f t h e Western Canadian g r a s s l a n d s . I n o r d e r t o c h a r a c t e r i z e the r a n g e l a n d t y p e s , t h e y i e l d s of p r o t e i n , c a l c i u m and phosphorus were determined. s t u d i e s of t h i s n a t u r e a r e n e c e s s a r y a s s i s t i n completing  Further  and would u n d o u b t e d l y  the p i c t u r e o f t h e q u a l i t y o f  vegeta-  t i o n i n t h e d i f f e r e n t zones.  REVIEW OF LITERATURE W h i l e t h e r e a r e many p u b l i s h e d p a p e r s i n the  general  l i t e r a t u r e on t h e v a l u e s of p a s t u r e s , few o f these  refer  s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the range p a s t u r e s o f the N o r t h West. C l a r k e ejfc J L I  (7) have p u b l i s h e d on the v e g e t a t i o n a l  c o m p o s i t i o n of t h e g r a s s l a n d t y p e s of S o u t h e r n A l b e r t a , Saskatchewan, and M a n i t o b a , and have proposed methods o f d e t e r m i n i n g the c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y o f those  rangelands.  I n B r i t i s h Columbia, T i s d a l e (39) r e p o r t e d on c h e m i c a l comp o s i t i o n and ecology of t h e g r a s s l a n d p l a n t s .  Moss  (31)  has shown g r a p h i c a l l y t h e r e l a t i v e abundance of n a t i v e g r a s s e s i n the r a n g e l a n d s  of Southwestern A l b e r t a .  a l s o i n c l u d e d e x t e n s i v e d e s c r i p t i v e n o t e s on  He  has  Bouteloua-Stipa,  - 3 Festuca-Danthonia  and A g r o p y r o n - S t l p a - C a r e x  associations.  Smith (34) i n a l l i e d a s s o c i a t i o n s proposes methods o f e s t i m a t i n g f o r a g e y i e l d s of n a t i v e p a s t u r e s . I n a r e c e n t b u l l e t i n C l a r k e and T i s d a l e (9) show t h e c h e m i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l range s p e c i e s o f t h e Canadian p r a i r i e s .  D e a l i n g w i t h Manitoba v e g e t a t i o n , B i l l s  and C a l d w e l l (15) i n d i c a t e t h a t a l l l o w - l a n d g r a s s h a y s of t h a t p r o v i n c e a r e low i n phosphate i f measured by  standards  u s e d elsewhere, and t h a t l a t e c u t t i n g of hay a f t e r t h e normal t i m e l o w e r s t h e phosphate c o n t e n t .  Welch (43)  r e p o r t e d on m i n e r a l d e f i c i e n c i e s i n f o r a g e o f Montana rangel a n d s , and Whitman (45) shows c h e m i c a l a n a l y s e s o f N o r t h Dakota g r a s s e s .  T a b l e s o f a c r e a g e s of g r a s s l a n d s on t h e  Canadian p r a i r i e s are p u b l i s h e d a l o n g w i t h a r e p o r t on p a l a t a b i l i t y and c h e m i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n o f c e r t a i n v e g e t a t i o n o f t h e p r a i r i e s ( C l a r k e and T i s d a l e 8 ) .  A r c h i b a l d (1) s t a t e s  t h a t p o t a s s i u m has o n l y m i n o r s i g n i f i c a n c e i n n u t r i t i o n o f g r a z i n g a n i m a l s , and t h i s appears t o a p p l y under w e s t e r n conditions.  Other papers d e a l s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h the  f o r a g e y i e l d of v a r i o u s t y p e s o f w e s t e r n v e g e t a t i o n .  total No  r e p o r t s , however, d e a l d i r e c t l y with' f o r a g e q u a l i t y i n terms of y i e l d of n u t r i e n t s p e r a c r e .  1  -  4  -  METHODS!  k  The o b t a i n i n g o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e samples o f v e g e t a t i o n types presents d i f f i c u l t i e s .  I n t h i s s t u d y , s i t e s w h i c h were  judged t o be t y p i c a l o f t h e f a c i a t i o n under c o n s i d e r a t i o n were s e l e c t e d , u s i n g quadrat and p o i n t s a m p l i n g d a t a o b t a i n e d f r o m p r e v i o u s work.  A l l t h e s i t e s were l o c a t e d i n  such a way t h a t t h e y c o u l d be c l i p p e d a t about t h e same stage o f m a t u r i t y . n o t e s accumulated  S e l e c t i o n r e q u i r e d t h e p e r u s a l o f growth  over a p e r i o d o f y e a r s . ^  A l l types studied  were c o l l e c t e d i n t h e e a r l y p a r t o f t & e f l o w e r i n g stage o f the dominant s p e c i e s o f each a s s o c i a t i o n .  T h i s i s considered  t h e optimum, time f o r c u t t i n g many g r a s s e s f o r hay ( 3 0 , 3 2 ) . Samples were t a k e n on an acreage y i e l d b a s i s . frame, o n e - h a l f meter (%m ) 2  i n a r e a was u s e d .  A quadrat  To m i n i m i z e  p e r s o n a l b i a s , i t was t o s s e d a t random i n t h e s e l e c t e d  site.  A l l t h e f o r a g e encompassed by t h e frame was c l i p p e d a t one and o n e - h a l f (1^-) i n c h e s above t h e s u r f a c e o f t h e s o i l . Grasses and f o r b s ( b r o a d - l e a v e d p l a n t s ) were c l i p p e d separatel y and put i n s e p a r a t e bags. the o l d o r cured growth season's p r o d u c t i o n .  Care was t a k e n to. remove a l l  so t h a t t h e sample r e p r e s e n t e d one  The quadrat was c a s t 4 t o 6 t i m e s i n  each s i t e and each c l i p was kept in?, a s e p a r a t e c o n t a i n e r .  Data c o l l e c t e d by i'orage D i v i s i o n , Dominion E x p e r i m e n t a l S t a t i o n , S w i f t C u r r e n t , Saskatchewan.  S e v e r a l s i t e s were s e l e c t e d f o r each zone. The bagged samples were-then p l a c e d i n a greenhouse and a l l o w e d t o d r y f o r s e v e r a l days under normal c o n d i t i o n s . Weights were t a k e n on a rough b a l a n c e t o t h e n e a r e s t  one-  t e n t h gram, and each sample w e i g h t was m u l t i p l i e d by a f a c t o r o f 17.84  t o g i v e a y i e l d i n pounds p e r a c r e . A l l  variates... (weights i n pounds p e r a c r e ) f o r each v e g e t a t i o n t y p e were i n c l u d e d i n a s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s and  standard  d e v i a t i o n s , means, and s t a n d a r d e r r o r o f the means d e t e r mined.  The  s t a t i s t i c s a r e r e c o r d e d g r a p h i c a l l y t o show t h e  degree o f a c c u r a c y o f s a m p l i n g . ( 3 3 ) .  The mean y i e l d s a r e  compared w i t h p o i n t s a m p l i n g y i e l d d a t a and t h e c o r r e l a t i o n coefficient given. F o r c h e m i c a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n s , a l l t h e m a t e r i a l was through a 60-mesh s c r e e n i n a W i l e y m i l l and was c o n s t a n t w e i g h t a t 90 degrees.  ground  dried to  Crude p r o t e i n was  determined  on t h e oven d r y samples, u s i n g t h e K j e l d a h l method e s s e n t i a l l y as adapted by Loomis and S h u l l ( 2 2 ) , but u s i n g Hengar g r a n u l e s as a c a t a l y s t .  A c o n v e r s i o n f a c t o r o f 6.25  was  used on n i t r o g e n a s s a y s t o e s t i m a t e crude p r o t e i n ( 3 2 ) . Phosphorus was was  determined  c o l o r i m e t r i c a l l y (21) and c a l c i u m  determined by a s t a n d a r d m a c r o - v o l u m e t r i c  T o t a l ash was  procedure  determined by a method o f Loomis and  (ibid) using a controlled muffle furnace.  (3).  Shull  A l l analyses  were r e p o r t e d on a b a s i s o f oven dry weight p l u s t e n p e r cent m o i s t u r e .  T h i s was  done so t h a t r e s u l t s would be  o  -  6  -  comparable w i t h s t a n d a r d f e e d s t u f f s a n a l y s i s •(30).  AREA. STUDIED From M a n i t o b a t o C e n t r a l B r i t i s h Columbia, broad  soil  zones can be c h a r a c t e r i z e d on t h e b a s i s o f the c o l o u r o f t h e "A" h o r i z o n .  In grasslands of r e l a t i v e l y high e f f e c t i v e  m o i s t u r e ^ , o r g a n i c m a t t e r tends t o accumulate i n t h e upper s o i l horizons. black colour.  T h i s , i n t u r n , c o n f e r s on t h e s e h o r i z o n s a As m o i s t u r e e f f e c t i v e n e n s becomes p r o g r e s s -  i v e l y l e s s , t h e upper h o r i z o n s assume dark brown t o brown colours.  W h i l e t h e zones, "the B l a c k " , " t h e Dark Brown",  and "the Brown", e x t e n d b r o a d l y a c r o s s t h e Western p r o v i n c e s , the v e g e t a t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s o r t y p e s are much more l i m i t e d . Hence, i n a g i v e n s o i l zone, " t h e B l a c k " , the E a s t e r n f a e i a ti'ons c o n s i s t o f t a l l g r a s s e s , v i z . Andropogons and Panicums; i n t h e f o o t h i l l s of A l b e r t a , a F e s t u o a - D a n t h o n i a develops.  association  On t h e o t h e r hand, the B l a c k s o i l s which c h a r a c -  t e r i z e t h e upper g r a s s l a n d s o f B r i t i s h Columbia, i n c l u d e F e s t u c a , S t i p a and Poa as dominants.  Thus, i n o r d e r t o  o b t a i n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e samples o f v e g e t a t i o n f r o m each broad s o i l zone, major v e g e t a t i o n a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h i n the zone had to  be  considered.  I t i s r e c o g n i z e d , of c o u r s e , t h a t m o i s t u r e i s not t h e s o l e f a c t o r c o n d i t i o n i n g t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a l s o i l development. Complex i n t e r a c t i o n s o f m o i s t u r e , temperature and vegeta^ t i o n are r e s p o n s i b l e .  BROW SOIL ZONE* I n t h e Brown s o i l zone, v e g e t a t i o n f r o m f i v e m a j o r a s s o c i a t i o n s was  collected.  These a s s o c i a t i o n s a r e :  Short-  g r a s s , S a n d h i l l , S c e p t r e , H a v e r h i l l , a l l o f A l b e r t a and Saskatchewan, and the Lower G r a s s l a n d o f B r i t i s h Columbia. Of t h e zones c o n s i d e r e d , the Brown s o i l zone has under the lowest r a i n f a l l .  I t i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a  r e l a t i v e l y low o r g a n i c m a t t e r "A"  horizon.  developed  c o n t e n t and by a l i g h t brown  The upper, h o r i z o n i s i n v a r i a b l y s h a l l o w w i t h  a l a y e r , a t a depth o f s i x t o f o u r t e e n i n c h e s , of hardpan w i t h a high calcium content  (29).  (a) S h o r t g r a s s p r a i r i e The S h o r t g r a s s p r a i r i e o c c u p i e s t h e  southwestern  s e c t i o n o f Saskatchewan and t h e s o u t h e a s t e r n p o r t i o n o f Alberta.. Zone.  I t comprises  a l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n of the Brown S o i l  T h i s a s s o c i a t i o n has developed  v e r y low e f f e c t i v e p r e c i p i t a t i o n .  i n a r e a s w h i c h have a  The r a i n f a l l  i s less  than  f o u r t e e n i n c h e s p e r annum and the e v a p o r a t i o n r a t e i s h i g h (9).  I n the f a c i a t i o n , t h e dominant s p e c i e s w h i c h  comprises  about 61.8 p e r c e n t of t h e t o t a l g r a s s c o v e r i s B o i i t e l o u a • g r a c i l i s ( b l u e grama g r a s s ) .  S t i p a comata  (needle-and-  t h r e a d g r a s s ) i s a sub-dominant g r a s s w h i c h makes up about 24 p e r c e n t o f t h e g r a s s cover.  O t h e r cognate s p e c i e s o f  g r a s s e s and herbs a r e g i v e n i n T a b l e s I , , I I and I I I .  -  8  -  (b) S a n d h i l l The S a n d h i l l f a c i a t i o n  i s found i n t h e r e g i o n o f t h e  G r e a t S a n d h i l l s of Southern Saskatchewan.  I t comprises t h e  v e g e t a t i o n growing i n t h e sandy.areas w h i c h a r e  stabilized.  The samples r e p o r t e d on a r e f r o m b o t h medium t e x t u r e d and sandy s o i l s .  The g r a s s e s i n t h e sample a r e p a l a t a b l e , but  t h e i r y i e l d i s p o o r ( T a b l e I ) . The f o r b s and s h r u b s , w h i c h produce a r e l a t i v e l y heavy c o v e r , however, a r e q u i t e unpalatable.  The shrubs were not i n c l u d e d i n the  samples.  (c) S c e p t r e p r a i r i e This f a c i a t i o n  i s found on heavy t e x t u r e d s o i l s  developed  on u n i f o r m c l a y d e p o s i t s o c c u p y i n g t h e beds o f f o r m e r g l a c i a l lakes (29).  As t h e s o i l s are h i g h l y p r o d u c t i v e , t h e  remaining i n n a t i v e pasture i s s m a l l .  acreage  Most of t h e a r a b l e  l a n d i s used f o r t h e p r o d u c t i o n of c e r e a l c r o p s .  The  e c o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e , t h a t f e w e r n a t i v e s p e c i e s a r e found  on  t h e more p r o d u c t i v e s o i l s , i s w e l l i l l u s t r a t e d i n a s t u d y o f t h e s p e c i e s c o m p o s i t i o n of t h i s f a c i a t i o n .  Hence t h e g r a s s  c o v e r i s made up o f o n l y t h r e e co-dominants,  Agropyron  dasystachyum ( n o r t h e r n w h e a t g r a s s ) , K o e l e r i a c r i s t a t e ( j u n e g r a s s ) and S t i p a v i r i d u l a (green s p e a r g r a s s ) . forbs of  There a r e few  importance.  (d ) H a v e r h i l l p r a i r i e This v e g e t a t i o n a l type covers approximately one-half of the a r e a o f the Brown s o i l zone and c o n s t i t u t e s t h e l a r g e s t  u n i t o f "mixed p r a i r i e " .  The s p e c i e s found i n H a v e r h i l l  p r a i r i e v e g e t a t i o n a r e "both s h o r t and m e d i u m - t a l l g r a s s e s f o r m i n g a m i x t u r e which marks a t r a n s i t i o n between t h e s h o r t g r a s s and t a l l g r a s s p r a i r i e s . i n o r d e r o f importance a r e :  The p r i n c i p a l g r a s s e s  S t i p a s p a r t e a var. c u r t i s e t a  (short-awned p o r c u p i n e g r a s s ) , K o e l e r i a c r i s t a t a ( j u n e g r a s s ) , Agropyron  spp. ( w h e a t g r a s s e s ) , and B o u t e l o u a g r a c i l i s ( b l u e  grama g r a s s ) (See T a b l e I I ) . The above, t y p e s c o n s t i t u t e t y p i c a l f a c i a t i o n s i n t h e Brown S o i l Zone o f t h e P r a i r i e P r o v i n c e s .  There a r e many  o t h e r v e g e t a t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s withimi t h e zone", but none o f these i s s u f f i c i e n t l y d i f f e r e n t o r important t o warrant a s p e c i a l designation here.  The samples f r o m t h e above a r e a s  •were c o l l e c t e d f r o m t h e S w i f t C u r r e n t D i s t r i c t i n Southern Saskatchewan. (e) B.C. Lower G r a s s l a n d To show a comparison o f v e g e t a t i o n o f t h e Brown s o i l s o f t h e p r a i r i e s and t h e Brown s o i l s o f B r i t i s h  Columbia,  samples were c o l l e c t e d f r o m t h e Lower G r a s s l a n d s a t Kamloops, B.C.  T h i s t y p e i s between 1200 and 2100 f e e t a l t i t u d e , i n  a zone o f l o w p r e c i p i t a t i o n and h i g h summer t e m p e r a t u r e s . The p l a n t cover i s s p a r s e and composed c h i e f l y o f Agropyron s p i c a t u m (bluebunch w h e a t g r a s s ) , S t i p a comata (needle-andt h r e a d g r a s s ) , Sporobolus c r y p t a n d r u s (sand d r o p s e e d ) , and Poa secunda (Sandberg's  bluegrass). Artemesia t r i d e n t a t a  - 10 (sagebrush) o f t e n appears t o be co-dominant w i t h t h e above grasses.  Most o f t h e l o w e r g r a s s l a n d s have been o v e r g r a z e d ,  but t h e v e g e t a t i o n f r o m t h e a r e a s s e l e c t e d f o r s a m p l i n g approaches  the o r i g i n a l climax cover o f t h e lower g r a s s l a n d s .  DARK BROWN SOIL ZONE The s o i l s o f t h i s zone have a d a r k e r brown c o l o u r , p r o b a b l y because o f t h e i r s l i g h t l y h i g h e r o r g a n i c m a t t e r content.  The zone e n j o y s somewhat h i g h e r r a i n f a l l and a  l o w e r e v a p o r a t i o n r a t e t h a n t h e Brown S o i l zone.  The  v e g e t a t i o n makes a denser c o v e r , and t a l l e r growth and, i n f a v o u r a b l e a r e a s , s m a l l " b l u f f s " o f t r e e s and shrubs a r e found, forming parklands. Agropyron  The c h i e f s p e c i e s o f t h i s zone a r e  spp. ( w h e a t g r a s s e s ) , F e s t u c a s c a b r e l l a  (rough  f e s c u e ) , K o e l e r i a c r i s t a t a ( j u n e g r a s s ) , S t i p a comata ( n e e d l e and-thread g r a s s ) , S t i p a s p a r t e a c a r , c u r t i s e t a  (short-awned  p o r c u p i n e g r a s s ) , F e s t u c a i d a h o e n s i s (Idaho f e s c u e ) , and Poa p r a t e n s i s (Kentucky b l u e g r a s s ) .  In B r i t i s h  Columbia,  a p r i n c i p a l f o r b o f t h e Dark Brown a r e a i s B a l s a m o r h i z a s a g i t t a t a (balsamroot). BLACK SOIL ZONE The B l a c k S o i l zone o f t h e p r a i r i e s i s c o i n c i d e n t w i t h t h e a r e a commonly spoken o f as "the P a r k B e l t " .  The r a i n f a l l  i s h i g h e r and e v a p o r a t i o n r a t e l o w e r than i n t h e Dark Brown zone.  The s o i l s a r e v e r y dark i n c o l o u r and s u p p o r t a l u s h  growth o f v e g e t a t i o n . A l t h o u g h t h e s o i l s i n t h i s zone a r e  - 11 fundamentally  grassland s o i l s , " b l u f f s " o f trees are very  numerous. The a r e a s e l e c t e d f o r s a m p l i n g i n A l b e r t a was i n t h e f o o t h i l l s r e g i o n , west o f M u i r h e a d , A l b e r t a . dominant s p e c i e s a r e : Danthonia P a r r y i (junegrass). (shrubby  Festuca s c a b r e l l a  Here t h e  (rough f e s c u e ) ,  ( P a r r y * s o a t g r a s s ) , and K o e l e r i a c r i s t a t a  The p r i n c i p a l f o r b i s P o t e n t i l i a f r u i t i c o s a  cinquefoil).  Samples r e p r e s e n t i n g v e g e t a t i o n o f t h e B l a c k S o i l s o f M a n i t o b a were c o l l e c t e d n e a r B a l m o r a l . sampled;  Two t y p e s were  One of* them, t h e n a t i v e t a l l g r a s s p r a i r i e a s s o c i a -  t i o n , i s made up p r i n c i p a l l y o f Andropogon f u r c a t u s ( b i g bluestem), virgatum The  Andropogon s c o p a r i o u s  ( l i t t l e bluestem) , Panicum  ( s w i t c h g r a s s ) and S t i p a s p a r t e a  (porcupine  grass).  o t h e r t y p e i s made up p r i m a r i l y o f P o a p r a t e n s i s (Ken-  t u c k y b l u e g r a s s ) , which has invaded t h e n a t i v e p a s t u r e s and now e x i s t s i n n e a r l y p u r e s t a n d s . were c o l l e c t e d i n reference  Samples o f t h i s  invader,  i n o r d e r t o compare i t w i t h t h e n a t i v e s p e c i e s ,  t o y i e l d and q u a l i t y .  The B l a c k S o i l s a r e a s e l e c t e d i n Saskatchewan was i n t h e h i g h l e v e l s o f t h e Cypress H i l l s . species are Festuca intermedia  scabrella  The p r i n c i p a l  forage  (rough f e s c u e ) , D a n t h o n i a  ( w i l d o a t g r a s s ) , and A g r o p y r o n t r a c h y c a u l u m  (awned w h e a t g r a s s ) .  A g a i n , P o t e n t i l l a f r u i t i c o s a (shrubby  cinquefoil). i s t h e p r i n c i p a l f o r b . I n B r i t i s h Columbia, t h e B l a c k S o i l s o c c u r a s s o c i a t e d  - 12 w i t h t h e upper g r a s s l a n d between t h e a l t i t u d e s o f 2800 and 3100  feet.  There i s a dense cover o f g r a s s e s here  t o t h o s e i n t h e B l a c k S o i l s o f t h e Cypress H i l l s . columbiana  Stipa,  (Columbia n e e d l e g r a s s ) i s found i a a d d i t i o n t o  t h o s e g r a s s e s mentioned Hills.  similar  f o r the Black S o i l s o f - t h e Cypress  A l s o , t h e c o v e r o f f o r b s i s i m p o r t a n t and may con-  s t i t u t e a major p o r t i o n  of the grazable forage.  SHALLOW BLACK SOIL ZONE T h i s zone marks a t r a n s i t i o n between t h e Dark Brown and B l a c k S o i l s zones i n A l b e r t a . of  The r e l a t i v e l y s h a l l o w n a t u r e  t h e "A" h o r i z o n has r e s u l t e d f r o m a h i g h r a t e o f evapora-  t i o n and a l s o a f a i r l y h i g h i n i t i a l l i m e c o n t e n t o f t h e parent s o i l  (48).  These s o i l s a r e p r a c t i c a l l y a l l g r a s s l a n d  soils i n t h e i r native state.  The p r i n c i p a l forage s p e c i e s a r e  D a n t h o n i a P a r r y i ( P a r r y ' s o a t g r a s s ) and F e s t u c a s c a b r e l l a (rough f e s c u e ) . of  The r e g i o n s e l e c t e d f o r s a m p l i n g was west  Cochrane, A l b e r t a .  GREY WOODED SOIL ZONE Samples o f f o r a g e f r o m t h i s zone were t a k e n from t h e l o w e r Montane F o r e s t zone (3000 t o 4200 f e e t a l t i t u d e ) i n t h e Kamloops d i s t r i c t .  Samples were t a k e n f o r c o m p a r a t i v e  p u r p o s e s . o n l y and may mot be r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a l l Grey Wooded v e g e t a t i o n .  The g r a s s cover i s made up a l m o s t  e n t i r e l y .of C a l a m a g r o s t i s r u b e s c e n s  (pinegrass).  The •  more i m p o r t a n t f o r b s a r e A s t e r c o n s p i c u u s (showy a s t e r ) ,  - 13 L a t h y r u s o c h r o l e u c u s (pea v i n e ) , V i o i a americana  (American  v e t c h ) , A s t r a g a l u s s e r o t i n u s ( t i m b e r m i l k - v e t c h ) , and A r n i c a cordifolia  (arnica).  T a b l e I shows t h e b o t a n i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n o f t h e g r a s s sward i n t h e s e v e r a l v e g e t a t i o n a s s o c i a t i o n s .  "Stipa units"  e x p r e s s t h e p e r c e n t a g e c o v e r o f each g r a s s on a comparable basis (7).  I n t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n of t h e s e f o r a g e u n i t s , , a l l  g r a s s e s a r e g i v e n v a l u e s r e l a t i v e t o S t i p a comata, g i v i n g i t a v a l u e o f 1.0.  The y i e l d i n pounds p e r acre i s based on  p o i n t s a m p l i n g d a t a , assuming t h a t a c o v e r o f 100  percent  S t i p a comata y i e l d s 5000 pounds o f d r y m a t t e r p e r a c r e ( 7 ) . The " R e l a t i v e p e r c e n t a g e " of  column shows t h e r e l a t i v e amounts  each s p e c i e s i n t h e t o t a l g r a s s c o v e r , based on p o i n t  sampling o n l y . Table I I shows t h e b o t a n i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n o f t h e f o r b s f r a c t i o n i n the d i f f e r e n t a s s o c i a t i o n s .  I t w i l l be n o t i c e d  t h a t a l l of t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s do not have b o t a n i c a l d a t a * y i e l d d a t a i n T a b l e I I w i l l be r e f e r r e d t o l a t e r .  The  TABLE I The R e l a t i v e P e r c e n t a g e B o t a n i c a l C o m p o s i t i o n o f Range Types and the Y i e l d o f B a c h Type x  FORAGE SPBCHES Agropyron dasystachyum Agropyron S m i t h i i Agropyron t r a c h y c a u l u m Avena H o o k e r i Bouteloua g r a c i l i s C a l a m a g r o s t i s montanensis Calamavilfa l o n g i f o l i a Danthonia i n t e r m e d i a Danthonia P a r r y i Festuca idahoensis Festuca scabrella Koeleria cristata Poa secunda Poa spp. Sporobolus cryptandrus S t i p a comata S t i p a s p a r t e a v a r . c u r t i seta Stipa v i r i d u l a  SHORTGRASS HAVE]RHLLL SCEPTRE SANDHILL PRAIRIE PRAIRIS? PRA IRLE Stipa. R e l . S t i p a R e l . S t i p a R e l . S t i p a R e l . units units units units f° f* .35  6.13  3.53 61.82  .14 .03  2.45 .53  1.40 '24.51 .14 2.45  .04 .21  .62 3.22  5.81 59.34 .60 6.13  1.88 28.80 .01  .11  .03 .01  .46 .14  .22 3.38 3.05 46.71 .77 11.80  2.00 17.06 .08 .68 .93 .01  7.93 .09  SASKATCHEWAN DARK BROWN Stipa Rel. units * .07 .64 3.71 33.70 .17 .64 .58  •  .07  2.13 21.75  .06 .52 1.37 11.68 .03  1.14 11.65  .26  1.96 16.72 3.70 31.57 .04 .34  5.27 .64 p i  .42 3.80 1.16 10.54 .03  .27  .35 3.18 2.87 26.07  .12 2.11 .31 4.76 Carex f i l i f o l i a 1.68 15.25 Carex h e l i o p h i l a Carex spp. Juncus a t e r I'urotia lanata .11 1.14 TOTAL FORAGE UNITS 5.71 9.79 10.18 11.01 6.53 4800 5600 4000 NUMBER POINTS TAKEN 2000 5500 326 489 509 550 Y H L D IN POUNDS PER ACRE" 285 D a t a c o n s i s t s p a r t l y o f r e c o r d s o f p a s t y e a r s c o l l e c t e d a t S w i f t C u r r e n t , Sask  Table I ( c o n t i n u e d ) ALBERTA SASK. DARK BROWN BLACK Stipa Rel. Stipa Rel. units units %  Agropyron dasystachyum Agropyron S m i t h i i Agropyron t r a c h y c a u l u m Avena H o o k e r i Boiiteloua g r a c i l i s C a l a m a g r o s t i s montanensis Calamavilfa l o n g i f o l i a Danthonia intermedia Danthonia P a r r y i Festuca idahoensis Festuca s c a b r e l l a Koeleria cristata Poa secunda Poa spp. Sporobolus c r y p t a n d r u s S t i p a comata Stipa spartea var. c u r t i s e t a Stipa v i r i d u l a Carex.filifolia Carex spp. Carex h e l i o p h i l a Juncus a t e r Eurotia lanata TOTAL FORAGE UNITS NUMBER POINTS TAKEN YIELD IN FOUNDS PER ACRE  8.16. 17.06  .08 .92 .07  .41 4.74 .36  .49  2.53  .46  2.37  ALBERTA BLACK Stipa Rel. units  ALTA. SHALLOW B:LACK Stips Rel. units %  7.81 26.55 10.08 92.59 2; 98 25.62 2.79 23.99 15.28 78.76 18.90 64.27 1.21 7.41 .03 .15 2.70 9.18  •  1.98 10.22 .09  I  11.63 2000 581  19.40 3000 970  .46 29.41 2000 1470  15.12 2000 756*  TABLE I I • ' i The R e l a t i v e P e r c e n t a g e B o t a n i c a l C o m p o s i t i o n o f F o r b s i n t h e D i f f e r e n t Range T y p e s 1  RELATIVE PERCENTAGE' OF TOTAL FORBS SHORT- SANDHILL SCEPTRE HAVER- SASK. SASK. HILL DARK BLACK GRASS BROWN  SPECIES  Achillea lanulosa Antennaria microphylla A r t e m e s i a cana 33.33 26.93 Artemesia f r i g i d a Atriplex Nuttallii . C e r a s t i u m campestre Chenopodium l e p t o p h y l l u m Gutierrezia diversifolia Lithospernum l i n a e r i f o l i u n .64 Malvastrum coccinium 1.93 Phlox Hoodii Potentilia fruiticosa Psoralea lanciolata .64 Rosa spp. 30.77 S e l a g i n e l l a densa Sieversia t r i f o l i a Solidago glaberrima Carex e l e o c a r i s 5.76 LOO.00 TOTAL PERCENTAGE 2  t e l a t i v e p e r c e n t a g e o f t o t a l f o r b cover. Data B a r t l y ^ c o m p i l e d ^ f r o m r e c o r d s a t Dom. S x p t / S t a . , S w i f t C u r r e n t , Sask.  3.05 73.70  .88  1.23 13.58  7.39  1.64 68.86 1.64  2.54 .38 .38 .38 5.08 5.34 9.15 100.00 8  6.79  .24 3.15 .86 78.90  .90 1.79  76.71 27.86  9.85 2.99 3.88  .24 9.21 77.78 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00  C a r e % . e l e o c a r i s . i n c l u d e d w i t h th§ f o r b s as I l 7 l H no I i U v e n a f o r a g e r a t i n g b u t c o n s t i t u t e s a major p o r t l o f i o f the c a v e r .  - 17 -  PLATE I I .  Sandhill  faciation  - 18  PLATE IV.  -  H a v e r h i l l (mixed) p r a i r i e faciation.  - 19 -  PLATE V I I I .  B r i t i s h Columbia Grey Wooded. (Montane f o r e s t )  -  21 -  EXPEPJME'NTAL RESULTS F i g u r e I i l l u s t r a t e s t h e d r y m a t t e r y i e l d s o f f o r a g e on d i f f e r e n t s o i l t y p e s , o b t a i n e d by c l i p p i n g .  The s o l i d  s e c t i o n s o f t h e b a r s i n d i c a t e t h e g r a s s y i e l d s and t h e c r o s s hatched p o r t i o n s i n d i c a t e t h e f o r b y i e l d s . show t o t a l y i e l d s o f t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s .  The complete  bars  The'graph shows t h e  p r o g r e s s i v e l y h i g h e r p r o d u c t i o n from t h e Brown S o i l zone t o t h e B l a c k S o i l zone.  I t also i n d i c a t e s the f a c t that r e l a t i v e -  l y fewer f o r b s o c c u r as t h e more p r o d u c t i v e zones a r e approached.  F o r purposes  o f comparison, y i e l d s o b t a i n e d from  p o i n t sampling d a t a a r e , as a f o r e m e n t i o n e d , g i v e n i n Table I . F i g u r e I I i s used t o show t h e a c c u r a c y o f d r y m a t t e r sampling.  I t employs t h r e e s t a t i s t i c s : > t h e mean y i e l d p e r  a c r e ( t h e c e n t r e c r o s s b a r o f each g r a p h ) ; t h e s a m p l i n g  range  ( t h e l e n g t h o f t h e b a r above and below t h e mean); and t h e t h e o r e t i c a l s a m p l i n g range  (the cross-hatched p o r t i o n ) .  The  t h e o r e t i c a l range i s r e p r e s e n t e d as t w i c e t h e s t a n d a r d e r r o r above and below t h e mean '(33). t h e o r e t i c a l range approaches  I n a s s o c i a t i o n s where t h e  t h e s a m p l i n g range  (e.g., Sceptre  p r a i r i e ) , t h e s a m p l i n g i s o b v i o u s l y more a c c u r a t e .  In the  S h o r t g r a s s p r a i r i e a s s o c i a t i o n s , f o r example, t h e s a m p l i n g range a p p r e c i a b l y exceeds t h e t h e o r e t i c a l range. s a m p l i n g may n o t be r e p r e s e n t a t i v e .  Thus, t h i s  The graph f o r f o r a g e  from t h e h i g h e r y i e l d i n g t y p e s ( e . g . , A l b e r t a f o o t h i l l s ) shows  - 22 a l a r g e d i f f e r e n c e between a c t u a l and h y p o t h e t i c a l ranges. I n t h i s case i t i s not s e r i o u s because t h e f o r a g e y i e l d i s over t w i c e as g r e a t as the S h o r t g r a s s y i e l d , and the e r r o r i s t h e r e f o r e no g r e a t e r .  I t must be borne i n mind t h a t i f  the c o e f f i c i e n t o f v a r i a b i l i t y were used, t h e h i g h e r y i e l d i n g a s s o c i a t i o n s would show a l o w e r r e l a t i v e  error.  The p o i n t s a m p l i n g y i e l d s were c o r r e l a t e d w i t h t h e m a t t e r y i e l d s o f F i g u r e s I and o f 0.91  was  obtained.  I I . A positive  dry  correlation  A c c o r d i n g l y , i t can s a f e l y be assumed  t h a t d r y w e i g h t s a m p l i n g as conducted i n t h e s e would agree w i t h more e x t e n s i v e samplings  experiments  by t h e P o i n t  Technique. Table I I I d e s i g n a t e s t h e r e s u l t s o f c h e m i c a l a n a l y s e s the forage.  of  The p e r c e n t a g e i s g i v e n f o r p r o t e i n , c a l c i u m ,  phosphorus and ash.  The y i e l d s o f t h e above c o n s t i t u e n t s w i t h w  the e x c e p t i o n o f a s h a r e e x p r e s s e d IV g i v e s the same d a t a arranged  i n pounds p e r a c r e .  Table  t o show d i f f e r e n c e s i n con-  s t i t u e n t y i e l d s between t h e m a j o r zones. A v e r y marked i n c r e a s e i n the p r o d u c t i o n o f p r o t e i n , c a l cium and phosphorus f r o m the Brown S o i l s t o t h e B l a c k S o i l s i s demonstrated.  The d a t a f o r S h a l l o w B l a c k , Grey Wooded and  A l l u v i a l S o i l s a r e few and hence s h o u l d o n l y be used f o r broad comparison.  In-each type, the grass c h a r a c t e r i z e s the pro-  d u c t i v i t y and q u a l i t y more a c c u r a t e l y t h a n the f o r b s .  Hence,  the d a t a f o r g r a s s e s and f o r b s a r e g i v e n s e p a r a t e l y .  A l s o , the  analyses f o r the broadleaved may  v e g e t a t i o n a r e more v a r i a b l e and  be m i s l e a d i n g i f t h e y are, used a l o n e .  FIGURE I Graph showing Y i e l d s o f Forage p e r a c r e f o r a l l Veget a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n s s t u d i e d . X S o l i d p o r t i o n o f par,. de-plots g r a s s y i e l d ; c r o s s - h a t c h e d p o r t i o n - f o r t ) y i e l d ) G R O S S -  J  o o  w  YIELD  CJ  - J  I  I  o o o . o I  o o  IN POUNDS  P E R A C R E -  <S  o o  :  I  _  Oi  ° °  o o  J  o  i  v\\\\\\\\\\\\\  »  o o  o '  PRAIRIE  SANDHILL  (BROWN)  SCEPTRE  B.C.  LOWSRASS  B.C.  LOWSRASS  ALBERTA  (BROWN)  (BROWN)  (CRESTED  (DARK  BROWN)  FOOTHILLS  MID GRASS  ALBERTA  (OK  BROWN)  (DARK  BROWN)  FOOTHILLS  B.C. UPPER  WHEAT)  (NATIVE)  SASKATCHEWAN  I  L  I  PRAIRIE  SASKATCHEWAN  wwwwwwwwwwwv  9 9  PRAIRIE—(BROWN)  HAVERHILL  B.C.  o o  I  SHORTGRASS  INI _  (O  - J  (BLACK)  (BLACK)  GRASS  wwwwww ' B.C. MONTANE  (BLACK)  ALBERTA  FOOTHILLS  (SHALLOW  BLACK)  .  FOREST (GREY  WOODED)  SASKATCHEWAN  ALLUVIUM  (NATIVE)  SASKATCHEWAN  ALLUVIUM  (BROMEJ  vwwwwvwv MANITOBA  "BLUEGRASS  (BLACK)'  0  | MANITOBA.  TALLGRASS  (BLACK)  i  1  —  OI  O  O  O  O  ~ i (M  o  O R O S S  1  o  - 4  Y I E L D  1  1  o  <D O  o  — O  I N POUNDS  o  n Oi  O  o  P E R A C R E  O  1 — ; — i 1 o o o O  O  O  r  —  o O  - .24 FIGURE:  YIELD  Q o  «•  u  IN P O U N D S  o o _ U  o p  o o  P E R  A C R E u  o o  o o  o o  ID  o o  o o  J_  _ 1 _  I SHORTGRASS  K^VI  I I  o . o  PRAIRIE  SANDHILL SCEPTRE  tO I  to  PRAIRIE  (MIXED)  I HAVERHILL  RftftW  PRAIRIE  (MIXED)  l \ \ \ \ V WWWV B.C. LOWGRASS l\\W\  \\\\  B.C.  SASKATCHEWAN  ^8  (CRESTED  LOWGRASS  (CYPRESS  (FOOTHILLS)  \\W  vWV WW  (NATIVE)  HILLS)  \W> WW I | ALBERTA  tz WW  WHEAT)  B.C.  (MIDGRASS)  1 ALBERTA  (FOOTHILLS)  K\\\\^v\\\\l SASKATCHEWAN  to  g  B.C.  (CYPRESS  (UPPER  HILLS)  GRASSLAND)  CO  5 to £  ALBERTA  IWWV vWWNI  (FOOTHILLS)  to * •  ^  \wwww wwww;B.G.  •1  (MONTANE  FOREST)  1%  I www \\\\>s  to £ to  SASKATCHEWAN  SASKATCHEWAN'  *  O o  M O o  o o  o o YIELD  (NATIVE)  feWBWD  o o  o o I N POUNDS  P E R  /  (CULTIVATED  o o A C R E  BROMEGRASS)  0 o o  o o  s  TABLE I I I The Chemical C o m p o s i t i o n o f t h e G r a s s l a n d A s s o c i a t i o n s and t h e C o n s t i t u e n t , Y i e l d s p e r A c r e . ( R e s u l t s , ' M o i s t u r e - f r e e p l u s 10$.) VEGETATION FORAGE YIELD PROTEIN • CALCIUM ASSOCIATION lb./A lb./A lb./A 218 10.37 22.6 .50 1.1 Shortgrass Grass 105 10.73 11.2 . .79 .8 prairie Forbs 1.9 323 33.8 Total 305 9.81 29.9 .41 1.2 Grass 286 10.26 29.3 .85 2.4 Forbs Sandhill 3.6 591 59.2 Total Sceptre 337 9.05 30.5 .50 1.7 Grass BROW prairie .38 1.7 Haverhill Grass 452 9.63 43.5 .4 prairie Forbs 61 9.67 5.9 .74 2.1 49.4 Total 513 B.C. Grass 584 5.60 32.7 .28 1.6 Low&rass B.C. 717 8.82 63.2 .23 1.6 Grass Lowgrass 472 7.20 34.0 .31 1.5 Sask. (Cy- Grass .6 Forbs press 70 8.55 6.0 .79 40.0 Total 2.1 Hills) 542 Grass 691 7.70 53.2 .19 1.3 DARK Alberta Forbs .4 (Foot"49 8.73 4.3 .82 Total 1.7 hills) 57.5 BROWN 740 B.C. Grass 886 6.37 56.4 .34 3.0 (Mid.3 Forbs 93 5.15 5.8 .28 grass) 3.3 61.2 T o t a l • 979 C r e s t e d wheatgrass ( r e s e e d e d ) ( C o n Native SOIL ZONE  1  2  PHD SPED HOE ASH Ca:P RATIO ]b./A f" * .4 6.60 2.75-•1 .18 .28 .3 6.66 2.67 :1 2.71 :1 -.7 .19 .6 5.99 1.97: 1 .06 .2 11.97 12.00: 1 4.50: 1 .24  .8  8.56  2.12: 1  .18 .30  .8 .2 1.0  7.21 5.92  2.12: 1 2.00: 1 2.10: 1  1  .23  1.3  8.77  1.23: 1  2  .22  1.6 11.67  .22 .11 .18 .19 .19 .08 t  1.00:a  1.0 8.76 1.50":1 .1 6.91 6.00 ! l 1.91 1 1.1 1.2 8.61 1.08" 1 .1 6.44 4.00: i 1.3 1.31 1 1.7 10.29 .1.76< 1 .1 14.06 3.00 ,1 1.8 1.83 1 i n u e d )  Table I I I ( c o n t i n u e d )  6.29 72.3  .32  Phosphorus ASH TJa:P 3b./A fo RATIO $ .16 1.3 7.28 1.94:1 .8 7.21 12.00:1 .17 2.1 4.78:1 .19 1.9 11.01 1.53:1 .18 .1 8.34 6.00:1 1.77:1 2.0 3.7 .21 2.4 9.93 1.54:1  1  9.91 131.8  .28  3.7 .15  2.0  6.91  1.85:1  2  6.08 100.0  .23  3.8 .13  2.1  7.23  1.81:1  .23 6.64 90.6 7.63 20.0 1.34 110.6 6.40 22.2 .13 9.77 5.3 1.18 27.5 .28 9.47 63.6 .•59 9.81 13.6 77.2  3.1 3.5 6.6 .4 .6 1.0 1.9 .8 2.7  1.4 5.53 .7 6.15 2.1 .7 18.28 .2 9.61 .9 1.4 7.86 .3 5.74 1.7  2.21:1 5.00:1 3.14:1 .57:1 3.00:1 1.11:1 1.36:1 2.67:1 1.58:1  6.29 70.6  -4.5: .16  1.8  2.50:1  SOIL VEGETATION YIELD ZONE? ASSOCIATION FORAGE' l b . / A Grass 789 Alberta Forbs 484 (Foothills) Total 1273 Grass Sask. 998 Forbs (Cypress 43 Total Hills) 1041 . BLACK B.C.(Upper- T o t a l 1150 Grass) Manitoba 1330 Tallgrass Total Manitoba 1645 Total Tallgrass Grass 1364 Alberta SHALLOW ( F o o t Forbs 262 BLACK hills) Total 1626 347B.C. Grass GREY 54 (Montane F o r b s WOODED T o t a l 401 Forest) Grass 672 Forbs 139 Sask. ALLUTotal 811 VIAL Sask. Grass 1123 3  4  Calciun P r Dtein lb./iS lb./A •t 6.65 52.5 .31 2.4 9.95 4.8 1.98 9.6 57.3 12.0 6.70 66.9 .29 2.9 10.00 4.3 1.45 .6 71.2 3.5  .40  .10 .28 .20 .36 .21 .19  8.05  •••Invaded by Kentucky b l u e g r a s s  3  Native  Native  ^Bromegrass (reseeded)  - 27 -  TABLET  I V  The Y i e l d o f N u t r i e n t s p e r A c r e by M a j o r S o i l Zone SOIL ZONI? BROWN Grass Forbs Total DARK BROWN Grass . Forbs Total BLACK Grass Forbs^ Total SHALLOW BLACK Grass Forbs Total GREY WOODED Grass Forbs Total*-" ALLUVIAL Grass •Forbs Total Cultivated grass  NUMBER NUMBER PROTEIN CALCIUM PHOS- FORAGE PHORUS YIELD SITES SAMPLES l b / A lh-/A l b Ik lb/A  11  4  48  37.0 7.7 44.7  1.5 .6 2.1  .9 .1 1.0  435 75 510  1.67:1 6.00:1 2.10:1  24  47.9 4.9 52.8  1.9 .4 2.3  1.3 .1 1.4  683 70 753  1.46:1 4.00:1 1.64:1  2.6  1.6  893  1.62:1  36  59.7 4.5 85.6  5.3  2.1  1288  2.52:1  8  90.6 20.0 110.6  3.1 3.5 6..6  1.4 . .7 2.1  1364 262 1626  2.21:1 5.00:1 3.14:1  22 • 2 5.3 27.5  ,4 .6 1.0  .7 .2 .9  347 54 401  .57:1 3.00:1 1.11:1  63.6 13.6 77.2  1.9 .8 2.7  1.4 .3 1.7  672 139 • 811  1.35:1 2.67:1 1.59:1  70.6  4.5  1.7  1  3  4  6  2  2  2  12  8  1123  5  ' A v e r a g e f o r A l b e r t a and Saskatchewan B l a c k S o i l Zone. A v e r a g e o f T o t a l Forage o f a l l A s s o c i a t i o n s i n B l a c k S o i l Zone Native Vegetation. B r o m e g r a s s on same s o i l t y p e as 4. 3  4  5  Ca:P RATIO  2.50:1  - 28 -  DISCUSSIQg Table  I I I contains the data f o r a l l o f t h e grassland  associations*.  Throughout t h e d i s c u s s i o n , however, t h e same  d a t a are r e o r g a n i z e d f o r easy a p p r a i s a l and f o r c l e a r e r development o f t h e ' z o n a l p i c t u r e . Calcium. The C a l c i u m p e r c e n t a g e f o r t h e v e g e t a t i o n o f t h e major zones does n o t c o r r e l a t e s i g n i f i c a n t l y w i t h r a i n f a l l o r s o i l type.  I n pounds p e r a c r e , t h e c a l c i u m , as shown i n T a b l e V,  i n c r e a s e s f r o m t h e Brown S o i l s t o t h e B l a c k .  The f o r b s i n  t h e S h a l l o w B l a c k zone, i t can be seen, show a h i g h c a l c i u m yield.  T h i s may be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e c a l c i u m  carbonate  l a y e r w h i c h l i e s o n l y a few i n c h e s below t h e s u r f a c e o f t h e soil. TABLE V The P e r c e n t a g e and Y i e l d o f C a l c i u m by M a j o r S o i l Zone  SOIL ZONE BROWN DARK BROWN BLACK SHALLOW BLACK GREY WOODED ALLUVIUM  GRASS FORBS TOTA]L FORAGE % Ca. l b / A Ca. % Ca. l b / A Ca. % Ca. l b / A Ca. .35 .28 .30 .23 -.13 .28  1.8 1.9 2.6 3.1 .4 1.9  .82 .58 1.34 1.18 .59  .6 - .42 .4 : .31 .25 3.5 .40 .6 .27 .8 .34  2.1 2.3 5.3 6.6 1.0 2.7  W a t k i n s s t a t e s (42) t h a t t h e c a l c i u m c o n t e n t o f f o r a g e must n o t f a l l below 0.25 p e r c e n t f o r t h e n o r m a l n u t r i t i o n a l  - 29 r e q u i r e m e n t .of a n i m a l s .  W i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f the g r a s s e s  o f t h e Grey Wooded zone, none of t h e z o n a l f o r a g e t e l l s story of calcium deficiency.  a  I n t h e G r e y Wooded zone,  >  however, t h e c a l c i u m c o n t e n t o f t h e many p a l a t a b l e f o r b s i s high.  Hence, t h e r e may  a c t u a l l y be no c a l c i u m d e f i c i e n c y i n  the grazed f o r a g e o f t h i s zone. D a n i e l s t a t e s (13) t h a t when t h e e f f e c t i v e r a i n f a l l i s low, the c a l c i u m c o n t e n t o f t h e f o r a g e i n c r e a s e s and phosphorus c o n t e n t d e c r e a s e s .  T h i s may  the  account f o r t h e h i g h  calcium content of the grasses of the Sceptre, Shortgrass S a n d h i l l a s s o c i a t i o n s which are a l l low e f f e c t i v e p r e c i p i t a t i o n .  i n a region of  and  extremely  ,  Phosphorus The phosphorus p e r c e n t a g e  shows a z o n a l d e c r e a s e  - t h e Brown t o t h e B l a c k s o i l s ( T a b l e 7 1 ) .  On t h e  from  other.hand,  t h e y i e l d i n pounds p e r a c r e i s p r o g r e s s i v e l y g r e a t e r f r o m t h e Brown s o i l s t o the B l a c k s o i l s .  The phosphorus c o n t e n t  o f f o r a g e p l a n t s f o r g r a z i n g a n i m a l s , commonly a c c e p t e d as a minimum, i s 0.12  percent (38).  None o f t h e samples on t h i s  b a s i s , w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f the S h a l l o w B l a c k s o i l s  vegeta-  tion., shows a d e f i c i e n c y o f phosphorus at t h e s t a g e o f development a t which t h e y were c l i p p e d .  A t m a t u r i t y , however, t h e  a s s o c i a t i o n s which have t h e l o w e s t phosphorus c o n t e n t a c c o r d i n g t o t h e d a t a p r e s e n t e d would p r o b a b l y be s e r i o u s l y deficient. T h i s : i s borne out i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e where s t a t e m e n t s a r e made -  o f s e r i o u s phosphorus d e f i c i e n c i e s im c e r t a i n S h o r t g r a s s  - 30 p a s t u r e s (9,43,44) arid M a n i t o b a meadows (15). Too much emphasis s h o u l d not be p l a c e d on phosphorus and c a l c i u m p e r c e n t a g e s  considered s i n g l y .  c a l c i u m t o phosphorus i s h i g h l y i m p o r t a n t .  The r a t i o o f In general, a  r a t i o between 2:1 and 1:2 i s c o n s i d e r e d optimum f o r a n i m a l nutrition.  A l t h o u g h t h e phosphorus p e r c e n t a g e  a s s o c i a t i o n s sampled does n o t appear t o warrant  i n most o f t h e concern, the  c a l c i u m t o phosphorus r a t i o i n some o f t h e t y p e s i s dangero u s l y wide.  Phosphorus d e f i c i e n c y must o c c u r a t t i m e s i n t h e  Brown and S h a l l o w B l a c k zones where t h e c a l c i u m t o phosphorus r a t i o s a r e v e r y wide, even i n immature f o r a g e .  (Table VTI).  Greaves ( 1 7 ) , i t might be added, has found t h a t t o t a l phosphorus i s a g e n e r a l i n d i c a t o r o f t h e n u t r i t i v e v a l u e o f the p l a n t . .Phosphorus c o r r e l a t e s n e g a t i v e l y w i t h a s h c o n t e n t and p o s i t i v e l y w i t h p r o t e i n c o n t e n t . f a c t s i s found  C o r r o b o r a t i o n o f these-  i n t h e d a t a i n Table I .  I t i s of i n t e r e s t ,  a l s o , t o n o t e t h a t Greaves ( i b i d ) f i n d s h i g h a s h c o n t e n t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h l o w crude f a t , and f a t and c a r b o h y d r a t e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a decrease  i n calcium content.  T h i s shows  t h a t t h e n u t r i t i v e v a l u e s o f h i g h c a l c i u m p l a n t s a r e as a r u l e lower than low c a l c i u m p l a n t s .  There i s a h i g h c o r r e l a -  t i o n between ash and c a l c i u m , a s h and magnesium, a s h and s u l f u r , and a n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between c a l c i u m and n i t r o g e n - f r e e - e x t r a c t , phosphorus and crude f i b r e and crude f i b r e and crude p r o t e i n ( 1 7 ) .  - 31 TABLE V I . P e r c e n t a g e and Y i e l d o f Phosphorus by M a j o r S o i l Zone PHOSPHORUS SOIL 'ZONEBROWN DARK BROWN BLACK SHALLOW BLACK GREY WOODED ALLUVIUM  Grass % lb/A .21 .19 .18  .16 .20 .21  .9 1.3 1.6 1.4 .7 1.4  'Porbs lb/A .15 .11 •  .28 .36 .19  Total lb/A  .1 .20 .1 .18 .16 .7 .13 .2 .22 .3 .20  1.0 1.4 2.1 2.1 .9 1.7  TABLE V I I Calcium-Phosphorus R a t i o s by M a j o r S o i l Zone SOIL ZONE BROWN DARK BROWN BLACK SHALLOW BLACK GREY WOODED ALLUVIUM  GRASS 1.67:1 1.46:1 1.62:1 2.21:1 0.57:1 1.35:1  FORBS 6.00:1 4.00:1 5.00:1 3.00:1 2.'67:1  TOTAL FORAGE 2.10:1 1.64:1 2.52:1 3.14:1 1.11:1 1.59:1  Protein Many i n t e r e s t i n g c o n c l u s i o n s may be drawn from t h e r e s u l t s o f the n i t r o g e n assays.  I t has been common p r a c t i c e  "in t h e p a s t to r a t e a l l range p a s t u r e s e q u a l l y i n r e f e r e n c e to t h e p r o d u c t i o n of n u t r i e n t s .  Thus one f i n d s  little  r e l a t i o n s h i p . o f t h e g r a z i n g c h a r g e s on r a n g e l a n d s t o t h e i r productivity.  I t was shown t h a t t h e g r a s s e s o f t h e d r i e r  areas possessed a higher p r o t e i n percentage than those o f the  - 32 more humid, a r e a s .  I t was e r r o n e o u s l y b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e l o w  p e r c e n t a g e p r o t e i n and h i g h f o r a g e y i e l d on one hand  tended  t o b a l a n c e t h e h i g h percentage p r o t e i n and l o w f o r a g e y i e l d on t h e o t h e r .  Some, on t h i s b a s i s , have b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e  p r o t e i n y i e l d s p e r acre o f a l l pasture types a r e approximately equal. TABLE V I I I 1  The P e r c e n t a g e and Y i e l d o f Crude P r o t e i n (N x 6.25) by M a j o r S o i l Zone  SOIL ZONE' BROWN DARK BROWN BLACK SHALLOW BLACK GREY WOODED ALLUVIUM  Grass LB/A 8.59 7.01 6.68 6.64 6.40 9.47  PROTEIN Forbs LB/A «  37.0 10.23 47.9 6.94 59.7 90.6 7.63 22 • 2 9.77 63.6 9.81  In T a b l e V I I I we f i n d a d e f i n i t e centage  7.7 4.9 20.0 5.3 13.6  Total LB/A 8.75 44.7 7.01 52.8 6.72 85.6 6.80' 110.6 6.86 27.5 9.52 77.2 •  decrease i n p r o t e i n p e r -  i n t h e f o r a g e as we go f r o m t h e Brown s o i l s t o t h e  Black s o i l s .  I n s p i t e o f t h i s , t h e y i e l d o f p r o t e i n i n pounds  p e r a c r e i n c r e a s e s as we g e t i n t o t h e more humid zones.  It  f o l l o w s t h e n t h a t t h e y i e l d o f o t h e r n u t r i e n t s might a l s o be g r e a t e r i n t h e more p r o d u c t i v e s o i l s .  A consideration of the  y i e l d s o f c a l c i u m and phosphorus i n T a b l e s V and V I s u p p o r t s this  belief. The  q u e s t i o n might a r i s e :  Why s h o u l d so much a t t e n t i o n  - 33 be p l a c e d on p r o t e i n when r a t i n g the q u a l i t y of p a s t u r a g e ? The u n i v e r s a l importance o f p r o t e i n has been o b s e r v e d f o r over a century.  I n f a c t , t h e n u t r i t i v e importance o f  pro-  t e i n s and the dependence of a n i m a l s on p l a n t s f o r t h e s e subs t a n c e s were f i r s t The  p o i n t e d out by G.J. M u l d e r  1  around 1841  C h e m i s t r y o f A n i m a l and V e g e t a b l e P h y s i o l o g y .  He  in  said:  " I n b o t h p l a n t s and a n i m a l s a substance i s c o n t a i n e d , w h i c h i s produced w i t h i n t h e f o r m e r , and i m p a r t e d t h r o u g h t h e i r f o o d t o the l a t t e r . I t i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l y t h e most important o f a l l known s u b s t a n c e s i n the o r g a n i c kingdom. Without i t no l i f e appears p o s s i b l e on t h i s p l a n e t . Through i t s means the c h i e f phenomena o f l i f e a r e produced. " A few y e a r s l a t e r , B o u s s i n g a u l t , w r i t i n g i n the Economie Rurale ( P a r i s , 1851)  said:  " The a l i m e n t a r y v i r t u e s of p l a n t s r e s i d e above a l l i n t h e n i t r o g e n o u s s u b s t a n c e s , and c o n s e q u e n t l y t h e i r n u t r i t i v e p o t e n c y i s p r o p o r t i o n a l to t h e q u a n t i t y of nitrogen entering into their.composition. " I n 1923,  Osborne and Mendel summarized.the t h e n  current  i d e a s on t h e n u t r i t i v e , v a l u e s o f p r o t e i n f o o d s as f o l l o w s : " The p r o p o r t i o n of p r o t e i n i n the d i e t may determine whether l a r g e r o r s m a l l e r a b s o l u t e amounts of t h e n i t r o g e n o u s f o o d s t u f f s are consumed; but the a c t u a l i n t a k e o f t h e s e a l s o i s m o d i f i e d by t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e n o n - p r o t e i n i n g r e d i e n t s . The i n d i v i d u a l i n s t i n c t i v e l y s t r i v e s t o s a t i s f y i t s c a l o r i f i c needs. A d i e t r i c h i n f a t s i s consumed i n s m a l l e r q u a n t i t y t h a n one poor i n f a t s , c o n s e q u e n t l y t h e a b s o l u t e p r o t e i n i n t a k e may v a r y independently of i t s c o n c e n t r a t i o n or percentage i n the food. When t h e a b s o l u t e i n t a k e i s s m a l l "the law of m i n i mum" may come i n t o p l a y t o l i m i t the e f f i c i e n c y o f t h e whole because of the r e l a t i v e s h o r t a g e of t h e e s s e n t i a l a m i n o - a c i d ...  I m p e r i a l Bureau of N u t r i t i o n . N u t r i t i o n A b s t r a c t s and r e v i e w s .  1946,  16:2  pp.10,11.  \  - 34  -  " C o n v e r s e l y , when an a n i m a l i n g e s t s a v e r y l a r g e q u a n t i t y o f some p r o t e i n p o o r i n an e s s e n t i a l u n i t , t h e a b s o l u t e amount of the l a t t e r t h e r e b y a v a i l a b l e f r o m t h e g r e a t abundance o f i t s p r e c u r s o r may s u f f i c e t o promote n u t r i t i v e e f f e c t s t h a t f a i l to appear on a l o w e r p l a n e of p r o t e i n intake. ,f  More r e c e n t l y , i t has been shown "by v a r i o u s w o r k e r s (4, 17)  t h a t t h e q u a n t i t i e s of p r o t e i n a r e v e r y  t o t h e q u a n t i t i e s of a c c e s s o r y  closely related  growth f a c t o r s i n f o r a g e .  It  has been p o i n t e d o u t , f u r t h e r m o r e , t h a t p r o t e i n b e a r s an i n v e r s e r e l a t i o n s h i p t o f i b r e and l i g n i n .  Thus one may  d i a t e l y conclude that p r o t e i n values f o r forages i n d i c a t o r s , not o n l y o f one also other  a r e good  i m p o r t a n t n u t r i e n t , p r o t e i n , but  i n t r i n s i c c o n s t i t u e n t s w h i c h are l e s s r e a d i l y  determined o r The  imme-  defined.  a s s u m p t i o n seems j u s t i f i e d , t h e n , t h a t p r o t e i n i s a  very important feature i n pasture  q u a l i t y estimation.  Higher  r a t e s of g a i n have been noted i n h i g h e r p r o t e i n p a s t u r e s .  Why  should t h i s occur? The  answer-to t h i s q u e s t i o n p e r h a p s does not l i e o n l y i n  the r e l a t i o n s h i p of p r o t e i n t o o t h e r growth f a c t o r s but i t may.also l i e i n t h e narrower c a r b o n - t o - n i t r o g e n  r a t i o f o r the  b a c t e r i a l f l o r a i n the d i g e s t i v e systems of t h e  grazing  animals.  nitrogen,  I f , because o f the abundant s u p p l y of  b a c t e r i a l a c t i v i t y were s t i m u l a t e d , i t would appear l o g i c a l t h a t more f i b r e or c e l l u l o s e would be b r o k e n down i n t h e d i g e s t i v e systems of t h e a n i m a l s ( 4 1 ) . c o n d i t i o n favours that the forage  Assuming t h a t such a  c e l l u l o s e fermentation,  i s more c o m p l e t e l y  i t i s suggested  d i g e s t e d and  utilized  - 35 because o f the a c c e l e r a t e d b a c t e r i a l a c t i v i t y .  Coincident  w i t h the breakdown o f f i b r e , t h e r e w i l l , o f c o u r s e , be i n c r e a s e i n b a c t e r i a l numbers.  an  T h i s i n c r e a s e s h o u l d be r e -  f l e c t e d i n an i n c r e a s e i n b a c t e r i a l p r o t e i n a v a i l a b l e t o the animal.  The p o s s i b l e s i g n i f i c a n c e i n b a c t e r i a l f e e d i n g o f  p r o t e i n has been shown by S c h a r r e r and S t r o b e l ( 2 6 ) . I n r e g a r d t o the v e g e t a t i o n of t h e S h o r t g r a s s r e g i o n , where t h e ground cover i s s p a r s e but where t h e f o r a g e i s h i g h i n p r o t e i n , the p a s t u r a g e has a h i g h q u a l i t y . the " f i l l "  In t h i s region  o f animals i s s m a l l e r and the d i g e s t i b i l i t y i s then  increased (4).  A g a i n , w i t h t h e droughty  c o n d i t i o n s of the  r e g i o n , t h e f e e d remains i n t h e d i g e s t i v e systems of t h e animals f o r a longer p e r i o d w i t h a r e s u l t a n t increase i n the digestibility.  A c c o r d i n g l y , t h e r e m i g h t , because o f  v a r i o u s f a c t o r s , be a h i g h e r percentage forage i n the Shortgrass areas.  these  d i g e s t i b i l i t y o f the  T h i s , i n t u r n , would e x p l a i n  t h e r e l a t i v e l y h i g h e r r a t e s of g a i n o f l i v e s t o c k i n t h e region.  F i n a l p r o o f o f v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f t h i s concept must  a w a i t a d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h under c o n t r o l l e d c o n d i t i o n s .  It  i s seen, however, t h a t the p a s t u r e s o f t h e Brown S o i l zone are h i g h i n q u a l i t y when based on p r o t e i n c o n t e n t . Pasture A p p r a i s a l i n R e l a t i o n to P r o t e i n Production Knowing t h a t : (a) An a n i m a l must have p r o t e i n , energy, m i n e r a l s , v i t a m i n s , and o t h e r f a c t o r s l e s s e a s i l y defined;  - 36 (b) c a r b o h y d r a t e cannot s u b s t i t u t e f o r p r o t e i n , but p r o t e i n can a c t as a source o f energy; and, (c) t h e c a l o r i c v a l u e s f o r p r o t e i n and c a r b o h y d r a t e a r e almost^ e q u i v a l e n t ( 4 ) , and assuming t h a t a l l f o r a g e a s s o c i a t i o n s a t e q u a l consumption r a t e s possess equal d i g e s t i b i l i t y , THEN t h e r a t i o o f t o t a l f o r a g e y i e l d p e r a c r e t o p r o t e i n y i e l d p e r a c r e on any g r a s s l a n d v e g e t a t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s h o u l d be i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e q u a l i t y o f t h a t a s s o c i a t i o n i n terms o f a l i m i t i n g n u t r i t i o n a l constituent. On t h e assumption  '  t h a t 36 pounds o f crude p r o t e i n i s t h e  maintenance requirement f o r a thousand-pound cow p e r month (28) ( t h e p r o t e i n o f p a s t u r e herbage i s assumed t o be 50 p e r cent d i g e s t i b l e ( 2 4 ) ) , t h a t 7.0 p e r c e n t p r o t e i n i n t h e p a s t u r e f o r a g e i s n e c e s s a r y f o r maintenance o f mature a n i m a l s (5) and, f u r t h e r m o r e , t h a t c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y i s r a t e d on p r o t e i n y i e l d , then a pasture c o n t a i n i n g  7.0 p e r c e n t p r o t e i n  may be d e s i g n a t e d as a base p a s t u r e , p r o v i d e d t h a t i t p r o d u c e s 36 pounds o f p r o t e i n . 1  Now any p a s t u r e q u a l i t y r a t i o  (as c a l c u l a t e d above) com-  pared t o t h e q u a l i t y r a t i o o f t h e base p a s t u r e , s h o u l d be an i n d e x o f s u p e r i o r i t y o r i n f e r i o r i t y o f t h a t p a s t u r e i n terms  •Brody (4) s t a t e s d a i l y p r o t e i n requirement f o r a n i m a l s t o be: P = 0.88 x W where P = p r o t e i n r e q u i r e m e n t ( d i g e s t i b l e ) , and W = body weight o f a n i m a l i n k i l o g r a m s . 0  743  - 37 o f t h e base p a s t u r e .  The i n d e x may be c o n v e n i e n t l y termed  the " q u a l i t y index". Knowing t h e d r y m a t t e r y i e l d o f a g i v e n p a s t u r e and t h e " q u a l i t y i n d e x " o f i t s v e g e t a t i o n a s s o c i a t i o n , one can e a s i l y o b t a i n a more a c c e p t i b l e r a t i n g o f t h e c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y by simple m u l t i p l i c a t i o n . The above statements and assumptions  may be expressed i n  symbols as f o l l o w s : Pasture q u a l i t y r a t i o  = _  where  _  JL P forage y i e l d i n pounds p e r a c r e protein yield i n pounds p e r a c r e  Then we can s t a t e :  1 Fx Px Fb Pb  where  "Q" "x" "b"  . " q u a l i t y • index" r e p r e s e n t s any p a s t u r e r e p r e s e n t s base p a s t u r e 88  Therefore: Q  Fx Px~  x  5L Pb  Fb  JUL Fx Px  Knowing t h a t t h e p a s t u r e p r o t e i n requirement f o r mature a n i m a l s i s 7.0 p e r c e n t and t h a t t h e t o t a l p r o t e i n r e q u i r e ment p e r animal u n i t i s 36 pounds p e r month, t h e n t h e g r o s s y i e l d of t h e base p a s t u r e must be 36/.07 pounds p e r a c r e , o r 514 pounds. ( C o n t i n u e d n e x t page)  - 38 -ZP- = M i  Then  trio  = 14.28  oo  Finally  Q  -  Px  * 14.28  . TABLE' I X " Q u a l i t y I n d i c e s " f o r some G r a s s l a n d Types i n the F o u r Western Canadian P r o v i n c e s  Association  S o i l Zone  Quality Index .  •BROWN  Shortgrass p r a i r i e Sandhill Sceptre p r a i r i e Haverhill prairie B.C. Lowgrass ( c u l t i v . ) B.C. Lowgrass ( n a t i v e ) Alluvium (cultiv.) Alluvium (native)  DARK BROWN '  Sask. ( C y p r e s s H i l l s ) Alberta (Foothills) B.C. M i d g r a s s  1.0 1.1 .9  BLACK  Alberta (Foothills) Sask. (Cypress H i l l s ) ' B.C. Upper g r a s s Manitoba ( t a l l g r a s s ) M a n i t o b a (Kentucky b l u e )  .9 1.0 .9 .9 1.4  GREY WOODED  B.C.  SHALLOW BLACK  Alberta  The " q u a l i t y  Lower Montane (Foothills)  1.5 1.4 1.3 1.4 . .8 1.3 .8 1.5  .8 .8  i n d e x " has been determined f o r each a s s o c i a '  t i o n sampled ( T a b l e I X ) , and i t i s f o u n d t h a t a l l o f t h e  - 39  -  a s s o c i a t i o n s i n t h e Dark Brown s o i l zone and t h e B l a c k zone have i n d i c e s a p p r o a c h i n g 1.0.  soil  This indicates that  the  c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t i e s , when r a t e d on t o t a l p r o t e i n y i e l d ,  are  a p p r o x i m a t e l y the same as when r a t e d on t o t a l dry m a t t e r yield.  On t h e o t h e r hand, the g r a s s l a n d  t y p e s i n t h e Brown  s o i l zone have " q u a l i t y i n d i c e s " between 1.0  and 1.5.  These  i n d i c e s suggest t h a t t h e c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y when c a l c u l a t e d  on  p r o t e i n i s g r e a t e r t h a n the f o r a g e y i e l d c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y . Thus, i f p a s t u r e pastures  q u a l i t y depends on p r o t e i n p r o d u c t i o n ,  i n t h e Brown s o i l zone s h o u l d  be r a t e d a  c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y t h a n when r a t e d on f o r a g e y i e l d The should  suggestion  t h a t the g r a s s l a n d s  the  higher only.  o f t h e Brown zone  be g i v e n a h i g h e r r a t i n g i s borne out i n l i v e s t o c k  production.  .It i s w e l l known t h a t t h e o r d i n a r y  c a p a c i t y estimates, f o r the s p a r s e , d e n s i t y and  carrying  s h o r t g r a s s based  on  d r y m a t t e r y i e l d s a l o n e do not r e l a t e a c c u r a t e l y  t o a c t u a l numbers of l i v e s t o c k c a r r i e d and a r e a l m o s t a l w a y s too low.  Accordingly,  the use o f t h e s e " q u a l i t y i n d i c e s " f o r  t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s i s proposed i n o r d e r t h a t more a c c e p t i b l e estimates  o f c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y can be made.  - 40 -  ABSTRACT An i n t r o d u c t o r y i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e q u a l i t y o f range f o r a g e o f some v e g e t a t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s o f t h e f o u r Western Canadian p r o v i n c e s reported  has been p r e s e n t e d .  A l t h o u g h t h e work  on concerns o n l y f o u r n u t r i e n t s , v i z . , p r o t e i n ,  c a l c i u m , phosphorus and a s h , t r e n d s o f p a s t u r e v e g e t a t i o n a l type have boen demonstrated.  The'  q u a l i t y by determination!,  o f crude p r o t e i n a l o n e has l e d t o i n t e r e s t i n g c o n c l u s i o n s because, o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n t i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between p r o t e i n and o t h e r p l a n t c o n s t i t u e n t s .  A g e n e r a l p i c t u r e o f vege-  t a t i o n a l q u a l i t y has been p a i n t e d . a method o f a s s e s s i n g t h e g r a s s l a n d s wherein the r e l a t i v e pasture indices".  As a r e s u l t o f t h i s work f o r q u a l i t y i s proposed  v a l u e s a r e e x p r e s s e d as " q u a l i t y  P r o t e i n , deemed t h e l i m i t i n g f a c t o r i n c a r r y i n g  c a p a c i t y , i s assumed t o be t h e most i m p o r t a n t s i n g l e c r i t e r i o n f o r forage  q u a l i t y estimation.  »  - 41 -  BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.  A r c h i b a l d , J.G.  2.  Ashby, E.  COMPOSITION AND PALATABILITY OF SOME COMMON GRASSES. J.Ag.Res.66:341-7. May 1, 1943.  THE QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF VEGETATION. (Appendix by W.L. S t e v e n s ) Ann. Botany, .44:779-802. 1935.  3. ' A s s o c i a t i o n o f O f f i c i a l A g r i c u l t u r a l Chemists. OFFICIAL AND TENTATIVE METHODS OF ANALYSIS. S i x t h E d i t i o n . 1945. .4.  Brody, Samuel.  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